Top

Top

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 16 November. 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools

Request for temporary capital funding to support the expansion at Gwenfô Church in Wales Primary School

Purpose of the Report

  1. To request the inclusion in the capital programme of a scheme for the expansion of Gwenfô Church in Wales Primary School, to include a nursery, to meet the anticipated increase in pupil numbers arising from local housing developments and to request the short term use of £215K from the School Investment Reserve.

Recommendations

  1. That Cabinet recommend to Council, subject to the outcome of consultation, the inclusion of a £535K Section 106 contribution into the Capital Programme across 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 to support the expansion at Gwenfô Church in Wales (CiW) Primary School, to include a nursery, to meet the increase in pupil numbers arising from two local housing developments.
  2. That Cabinet recommend to Council, subject to the outcome of consultation, that £215K from the School Investment Reserve is utilised for the Gwenfô CiW Primary School extension scheme to finance part of the £535K scheme in the short term, which will be reimbursed from Section 106 monies when received, thus allowing the necessary works to be undertaken within the required timescale.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To allow the scheme to be included in the Capital Programme.
  2. To ensure that full funding is available to progress the expansion of the school.

Background

  1. The village of Wenvoe is expanding due to two large housing developments to the south (Redrow plc. at Port Road) and to the north (Bellamy Homes at St Lythans) of the village. This will increase demand for nursery and primary school places in Gwenfô.
  2. The housing development at Port Road is anticipated to yield 14 nursery age and 39 primary age children. The housing development at St Lythans is anticipated to yield a further 22 nursery and 62 primary age children. Building and occupation at both developments have commenced with full occupation of both sites anticipated by winter 2018.
  3. Current nursery provision in the Gwenfô area is provided by the Gwenfô playgroup, a private provider registered by the Early Years Development and Childcare partnership.
  4. The current school pupil capacity is 189 places. The school has a number on roll (NOR) of 178 and an admission number of 27: it does not have a nursery class. 56 children attending the school live within the catchment boundary, 34 children live in the Vale but outside of catchment and 88 children attend the school from outside of county.
  5. Section 106 funding has been secured from both sites to finance additional primary and nursery pupil places. The total contribution from the Port Road site is £493.7K. The total contribution from the ITV site is £749K. The contributions from both sites are directed to Gwenfô CiW Primary School.
  6. No contribution has been sought for secondary pupil places as there is capacity at the catchment schools of Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive schools and Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg.
  7. The Governing Body of Gwenfô CiW Primary School is undertaking a public consultation to seek formal responses from stakeholders about the proposed nursery. The consultation exercise closed on 02 November 2015. The school has scheduled that full determination of the proposal will take place on 18 January 2016. This was a matter that was reported to Cabinet in July 2015 when a consultation exercise was authorised (Cabinet Minute C2878 refers).

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Gwenfô Church in Wales (CiW) Voluntary Controlled (VC) Primary School wishes to open a 48 part time place nursery unit to extend the foundation phase curriculum to meet projected demand from the two housing developments. The project will also extend two small classrooms to increase capacity for school age pupils to 210 places with an admission number of 30.
  2. It is anticipated that, subject to the outcome of consultation as refered to in para 8 above, the nursery and the classroom extensions will be completed for the beginning of the school year on 01 September 2016.
  3. The scheme will increase the capacity of the school by 21 from 189 to 210. The projected number of additional pupils from the new housing developments is 101 and the current number on roll is 178. In the event the projected number of pupils from the new housing developments materialises straight away, the capacity of the school would be exceeded. However, analysis of pupil yield from previous housing developments in the Vale shows that whilst projections are accurate, the timing of the pupils emerging from these developments varies considerably from one development to the next. It can take a considerable number of years before the anticipated level of demand for school places is reached. A further consideration is the level of out of catchment and out of county pupils attending the school which totals 122 children at present. These children will move out of the school over time as they transfer to secondary school and priority for admission will be given to in catchment children. It can therefore be concluded that a 210 place primary school is sufficient to meet the projected demand for school places.
  4. The Council's Property Section has provided an outline costing for the project at £535K. It is anticipated that all works will be completed within a single phase by September 2016.
  5. If the school is not expanded by September 2016 then it is anticipated that the school will not be able to accommodate the demand from the new housing development and some monies from the Section 106 education contribution would need to be redirected towards the cost of transporting catchment area children to neighbouring primary schools.
  6. The school is working in partnership with the playgroup at Gwenfô who will continue to provide a playgroup for children from the ages of 2.5 to 4 years. The playgroup will provide wraparound care for children who wish to attend the nursery class at Gwenfô CiW Primary School.
  7. Officers from the Regeneration and Planning Division have consulted relevant Members and Council officers about the usage of Section 106 contributions from both sites. All were in support for the proposed use of the S106 contributions.
  8. As part of both Section 106 agreements, funding is to be released on a phased basis. As part of the Port Road development, 50% of the contribution (£246.8K), due for release on the occupation of the first dwelling, is now being sought by planning officers. The remaining contribution (£246.8K) will be released on occupation of the 65th dwelling estimated for Spring 2018 but which is dependent on the actual build rate of the developer.
  9. The Section 106 education contribution from the ITV site has a phased schedule of release. The first 10% or £74K has been released to the Council. Future contributions will be made on the occupation of 50,100 and 150 dwellings.
  10. Due to the phasing of the Section 106 contributions, the full contribution needed to fund the project would potentially not be available until spring 2018. As full funding is required prior to the awarding of the construction contract, it would not be possible to move forward with the project without the additional support from the Council by way of a short term allocation of funds.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. It is requested that a budget of £535K is included in the Capital Programme for this scheme. This sum will comprise of £320K of Section 106 contribution and £215K from the School Investment Reserve. The project will ultimately be fully funded through Section 106 contributions.
  2. It is requested that £215K be made available in the short term from the School Investment Reserve to allow the scheme to commence and to be completed within the required timescale. This request will require full Council approval. The School Investment Reserve will be reimbursed once Section 106 monies from the second phase of schedule payments from the Port Road site have been received which is anticipated to be in the spring of 2018.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. Establishment of a 3 to 11 year old primary school offers an efficient and sustainable model of delivery. The school has a robust partnership with the local playgroup which will enhance a mixed economy of provision and sustainability of employment within the community.
  2. The playgroup are fully supportive of the project and have developed a business plan, working with the school, to provide wrap around care for nursery age children alongside its existing provision to ensure that the playgroup continues to be financially sustainable.
  3. Providing additional capacity and nursery provision at Gwenfô CiW Primary School will ensure that all children of primary school age will be able to attend their local school. This will alleviate the need for school transportation for children of primary school age from these housing developments wishing to attend an English medium primary school.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The overall funding of the scheme is reliant on the contributions being released within the occupation schedules outlined within the Section 106 agreements negotiated with Redrow plc. and Bellway Homes (the developers).
  2. The school expansion proposal is subject to the successful completion of a statutory consultation process to establish a new nursery being led by the school's Governing Body. The end of the initial consultation is 02 November 2015.
  3. This cabinet report does not breach or pre-empt the outcome of the consultation exercise being undertaken by Gwenfô CiW Primary School.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no crime and disorder implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no equal opportunities implications arising from this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The extension of age range and the establishment of a nursery at the school progresses LS2 to 'Develop, consult on and implement a School Reorganisation Programme to ensure the right schools are provided in the right places.' included within the Corporate Plan 2013-17.
  2. The proposal detailed in this report contributes towards service objective 2 of the Learning and Skills Directorate Service Plan 2015/16: 'to meet the needs of all learners by providing a range of suitable and accessible learning opportunities and facilities'.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This report is following the procedure laid down in the Constitution and needs to be referred to Council to make the final decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. A ward member and officer consultation for the use of Section 106 contributions from both developments has been undertaken by the Planning department.
  2. Public consultation with all interested parties is being carried undertaken by the Governing Body of Gwenfô CiW Primary School in accordance with legislation, following the statutory processes set out in the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Anne Brown                                School Organisation Manager, Directorate of Learning and Skills

Officers Consulted

Paula Ham                                Head of Strategy, Community Learning & Resources

Mark Haynes                                School Planning and Buildings Manager

Mike Matthews                Principal Strategic Planning Officer - Learning and Skills

Carolyn Michael                Operational Manager, Finance

Victoria Robinson                Section 106 Officer

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill                                Director of Learning and Skills

Share on facebook Like us on Facebook